British Airways hosted a star-studded ‘Milestone in the Sky’ event at the Gherkin on Thursday evening which was hosted by huggy presenter Davina McCall. The event was held to celebrate raising over £6 million for Comic Relief through its Flying Start partnership.


Classical singer Katherine Jenkins performed a string of hits to guests, which included celebrity supporters; Bill Nighy, Lenny Henry, Shane Richie, Vernon Kay, Linford Christie, Jon Culshaw, Richard Curtis and Emma Freud.

Kathrine Jenkins  (photo Miles Willis/Getty Images for BA)

Kathrine Jenkins
(photo Miles Willis/Getty Images for BA)

The event was also attended by British Airways customers and Comic Relief project workers the airline wanted to thank. It sounds like a real love in.

Brtish Airways launched Flying Start with Comic Relief in 2010 to raise money to help children living incredibly tough lives in the UK and around the world.

Presenter Davina McCall filmed a video for British Airways colleagues to thank them for their fundraising efforts. She said: “Congratulations to everyone at British Airways – from colleagues to customers, for raising an amazing £6 million for Comic Relief, through your Flying Start partnership.

The evening reception saw Katherine Jenkins in a yellow Suzanne Neville gown, as she performed hits including Jeff Buckley’s ‘Halleluiah’ and ‘Habanera’ from the opera Carmen by Bizet. She said: “It’s an honour to perform at such an elegant setting, made even more special by the incredible fundraisers, project workers and supporters in the room tonight.

The £6 million that British Airways has raised since it started three years ago has helped Comic Relief fund projects in the UK and around the world. Just a few of the grants awarded by Comic Relief are:

  • £200,000 awarded to Body and Soul to work with children, teenagers and families affected by HIV in London, providing support and information to enable people to face the challenges of HIV.
  • £3 million given to VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) working with the Ghana Education Service to work with communities in Northern Ghana to strive for good quality education.

British Airways’ chief executive, Keith Williams, said:

“Today marks an important milestone in our fundraising for Comic Relief, and I would like to thank the generosity of our customers, and dedicated fundraisers at British Airways for raising £6 million for Flying Start to date. I’ve visited projects to see first hand the positive change Comic Relief makes to children leading unimaginably difficult lives and these visits are some of the most humbling experiences I’ve had.”

Funds have been raised through on board collections, online donations (ba.com/flyingstart) and the option to give when purchasing flights and holidays at ba.com. The airline’s colleagues have also played an integral role, with fun runs and tug of wars, to cake baking contests and charity balls among the many creative and collaborative activities.

BA Flying start

A creative activity..

In the spirit of ‘doing something funny for money’ British Airways has even set Guinness World Records for Red Nose Day over the years, including the ‘Highest Concert’, ‘Highest Comedy Gig’ and ‘Highest Harlem Shake’.

Celebrities including Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Stravos and Son (pictured above) and Sarah Harding have all done their bit to help fundraising efforts. They have joined British Airways teams on project visits to see first-hand how the money raised helps transform lives, and have made films to inspire passengers to donate.

Through Comic Relief, Flying Start has been able to support tens of thousands of children, in projects across the world, some of these include; The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in Cape Town, the Railway Children charity in India, Magic Bus in Delhi, Fight for Peace in Rio de Janiero, The Pendekezo Letu in Kenya, Project Y.E.S.S in London, the Bolton Lads and Girls club, D2 Youth Zone’s in Newcastle and North United Communities project in Scotland.

For more information on Flying Start, or to donate – visit; www.ba.com/flyingstart.

Supermodel Georgia May Jagger, fashion designer Alice Temperley MBE, and singer Leona Lewis came together last night (24 October), to fly the flag for Britain, at the ‘Gig on a Wing’ event to celebrate British Airways’ new A380 superjumbo operating to Hong Kong.

Intended to showcase the best of British music, fashion, design and cuisine to an audience of local leaders in travel and entertainment, the event took place inside a hangar at Hong Kong International airport, with the A380 forming the centrepiece of the show.

Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger took to the stage with British Airways Chief Executive Keith Williams to close the evening, and said: “I’m so happy British Airways invited me to Hong Kong on their first A380 flight. The service, food and flat beds on the long haul flights are second to none and I always arrive feeling well rested. I love Hong Kong too and look forward to returning and spending more time in this great city”.

A380 gig on a wing bus

Gettin’ off the bus

British Airways’ ‘Gig on a Wing’ event launched with a fashion show by British designer Alice Temperley MBE. Fresh from showing at last month’s London Fashion Week, Alice showed guests to her Spring/ Summer 2014 collection from the award winning Temperley London collection. Models descended the steps of the A380 aircraft onto British Airways’ specially created ‘runway’ catwalk. Temperley, who has designed dresses for stars including Keira Knightly, Rihanna, Beyonce and The Duchess of Cambridge, said: “I was thrilled to be asked by British Airways to showcase my new Spring/Summer 2014 collection in Hong Kong and at such a unique and glamorous event. The people here really appreciate cutting edge design, fine tailoring and effortless style, very similar to that of British Airways new A380.”

This was followed by a live performance from former X-Factor winner Leona Lewis. Lewis performed tracks on a specially created stage, flush with the A380’s 261-foot twin-engine wingspan. Leona’s set included a cover of Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away”, her number one selling track “Bleeding Love” and “Come Alive”.

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Speaking after her performance, Leona said: “Performing on the wing of the British Airways A380 was an incredible experience and one I will never forget. After singing on top of a double-decker bus at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I thought that would be a hard act to follow, but tonight’s ‘Gig on a Wing’ event was very special and unique”.

The gig on a wing A380 in the spotlight

The gig on a wing.

It was a truly swish event with the Langham Hong Kong providing guests with a very British affair, treating them to treats that included mini pork pies, Sunday roast and fish and chips canapés, followed by a true taste of home with an afternoon tea boasting a chocolate London bus, a marshmallow Big Ben and an Alice Temperley inspired vanilla shortbread.

This was complemented by Flower Duet cocktails. Luxury five star hotel, The Langham Hong Kong, is located in the heart of Kowloon.